Girls has been one of HBO’s signature series and also one of its most polarizing. Either you’re a fan of Lena Dunham’s stylistic series or are put off by the portrayal of this generations young women and their self involved ways. Personally, I think that Girls has been one of the more interesting series to grace the airwaves the past few years.
Girls: The Complete Fourth Season is out now on Blu-ray and DVD and as we start all the girls of Girls are trying to figure out their own lives while balancing being a young adult and growing up. Hannah (Lena Dunham) has just quit her job and left New York and Adam (Adam Driver). She got accepted to a prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is trying to develop into a serious writer.
Marnie (Allison Williams) continues to pursue her fledgling music career with Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and they’re romanic relationship is running hot and cold and hot again. Marnie wants Desi but in typical Marnie fashion once she gets what she wants, she’s not really sure she wants it after all.
Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is graduating college and starting to interview for jobs, at the same time, she’s also trying to sort out her true feelings for Ray (Alex Karpovsky). Being in the real world is tough and while Shosh thought she would be taking the world by storm, in essence she’s more like treading water. She interviews and gets nothing or is uninspired.
Finally, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is fresh out of rehab and trying to make it without reaching for the bottle. She forms a friendship with Adam and they start going to AA together. Adam, without Hannah in his life, meets a new artist girlfriend. She changes Adam’s world and he doesn’t know how to process all these feelings. After breaking up with Hannah for the… What? 100th time now, tries to put his life in order but he always comes full circle.
Whew… It’s so interesting, when you look at life in general, it seems to be that two points in life always seem to be the most dramatic, high school and moment you graduate college and get out in the world. What Girls so excellently has portrayed is a modern look at the life of three women who are searching and trying to figure out who they are, what they really want and how to maintain friendships and lovers in the process.
The key to the series is of course Lena Dunham. She’s also the most polarizing character and persona. Chances are, if you don’t like Hannah, you’re probably not a fan of Girls. Trust me, after watching all 10 episodes back to back, I understand the frustration people have with the series, but really deep down if you let it, Girls will sneak up on you. It’s so well written and acted, it’s hard not to like the characters.
The best shows on television allow the characters to be real people, warts and all. I say this about Mad Men all the time. Everyone on that show at some point was a jerk, or just show for who they are. It doesn’t make them bad people necessarily, but it does challenge the viewer to fall in love with characters who are flawed. Those flaws are what makes them inherently relatable, and that’s what is so appealing about Girls. These characters are not stereotypes or cardboard, they are just like people you might meet on the street, warts and all.
Girls: The Complete Fourth Season arrives on Blu-ray and DVD from HBO Home Entertainment. I was sent a DVD copy to review and while it was not in high definition, the picture quality is still serviceable on large format televisions. There is some picture fallout, but less than you would expect from Girls rather than an action series like Game of Thrones. The colors are still fairly rich and details while muted are more than passable.
Special features on the DVD release include seven different audio commentary tracks including some from the four girls of Girls. The ones I was able to listen to were fun and engaging. It’s nice to hear the actors talk over episodes and hear their off screen camaraderie.
There’s also a short season 3 recap to get you caught up with the current season.
Overall, while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I really enjoy Girls. If nothing else, it’s a wonderful insight into our current society and for better or worse, Lena Dunham was the voice of a generation. It’s nice to see, as in this season, the characters change and grow. It’s to everyone’s credit that they are allowing each character to struggle and find their own footing. There isn’t a bad episode in the season, it’s a humorous and insightful look at how this generation views the world.
Girls: The Complete Fourth Season is out now on DVD and Blu-ray!